Ironically, my band has a song with this exact title (To the Edge), and it popped into my head last week as I was searching for my edge, both physically and emotionally, at the precipice of the spring equinox, on the cusp on the new moon. How about THAT! Anyway, I definitely found a number of edges over the past few weeks and with the help and support of friends, teachers, and family, broke through some of them and am on my way through realizations and shifting patterns. All very good stuff, but transformation is hard and knocks you on your ass!
My dear friend Kathleen Pizzello, owner of the amazing The Moon + the Mat Yoga studio in Beverly, MA, offered a handstand workshop recently. I'm scared shitless of handstands. Fully own it. So, I figured, I should start facing the fear. Welp, I am eternally grateful for her guidance and teaching, because not only did I learn that I'm afraid of doing a stupid handstand (I mean, honestly, the worst thing that is gonna happen is that I fall and get banged up, and heal...), but I'm afraid to trust. That is my edge! Smacked me right in the face. I cried during savasana. A good and wonderful cry of release and acknowledgement. Breakdowns before breakthroughs, afterall! Years of holding this distrust just poured out of me. If you have me do a handstand against the wall, there is no problem. At all. I know the wall is there. Its solid and tangible and isn't going to move.
Well, that's not the case when I attempt to press up in the middle of the room and even with very capable and wonderful people spotting me, I inherently don't trust that they can really support me, but more salient is that I don't trust myself and my abilities. That was the biggest breakthrough for me. I mean, let's look at this logically... if a handstand is a scary life event like a relationship, for instance, its not a big surprise that I don't trust myself anymore. I've made some pretty questionable decisions regarding who I have invested energy into in the past. Sadly, emotional vampires have sucked me dry on more than one occasion and I damn well know exactly why I don't trust myself.
Regardless, working on handstands was a HUGE eye opener for me. Burst open a door so hard you might as well have napalmed the dang thing. But like I said: its a good development. Even if I never press into a perfect handstand, I'm newly cognizant of the walls I need to break down in my life. The walls that were holding the handstand up. The learning curve of trust--of others, but more importantly myself when it comes to my weary heart. It was a huge relief to find my edge. To know exactly where it is and how to maneuver in a way that will allow me to expand beyond that edge with mindfulness, love, and care.
Speaking of edges, I co-taught a Yoga Mala with another amazing friend and teacher, Jacalynn Willett, last weekend. So many edges in the room. A Yoga Mala is an intense practice of 108 sun salutations. I participated in one before, but this was my first time teaching. I observed our students dancing along the edge of their physical practices (108 sun salutations ain't no joke!). So much energy was being shifted and transformed. You could literally feel it in your bones. I only did about 45 sun salutations while Jacalynn taught, and the rest of my time was spent teaching, assisting, or massaging our students. I have been exhausted for two days at this point. A good exhaustion. A powerful one. Holding space for others is tough, because... well...space is heavy. I am grateful to have shared the experience with an intuitive soul such as Jacalynn. It was an awesome, yet deeply challenging workshop. I am grateful to everyone who participated and found their edges in sangha.
The moral of the story is that whether finding your edge makes you laugh or cry, its transformative, and is always allowing you to expand beyond where you were previously. And that's a pretty cool thing. Namaste my peeps.